Jalandhar, October 7
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Apple India to pay Rs 15,000 towards compensation and litigation costs to a resident as the company have sold an old handset to a customer in the name and price of a new one and that too with the same IMEI number which was already registered for an iPad mini.
The forum directed the firm to refund Rs 20,100, the cost of the handset, pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 for causing mental agony and physical harassment to the complainant and Rs 5,000 towards litigation costs.
The complainant, Kundan Singh Bisht, in his complaint stated that he came across a reasonable deal for a mobile handset of Apple iPhone 5s (32GB, Gold) on ebay.com, an e-commerce website, which was offering the phone for the amount less than the market price.
He said having been impressed by features and deal of the handset, he booked the same online with a pre-payment of Rs 20,100, through a credit card on October 10, 2016.
He said the handset was having a warranty of one year. But after some time, the phone started overheating.
To solve the problem, he approached the customer care of Apple India at Jalandhar, which advised him to approach iQor Global Services India Private Limited, which is the authorised service centre of Apple. He contacted iQor on April 21, 2017, and apprised it of the problem being faced by him in the handset.
Meanwhile, when iQor verified the IMEI number from their records, Kundan was told that according to their records, the said IMEI number was allotted to some different handset (iPad Mini 3-16GB-Silver), whereas the handset that was delivered to him by ebay carried description Apple iPhone 5s (32GB, Gold).
He was further told that as per their records, the handset has gone out of warranty. He said he then approached ebay.com through email, stating about the whole incident, but to no avail.
Talking to The Tribune, Kundan said on April 26, 2017, he again visited the service centre of iQor Global and submitted the handset for to resolve the problem and accordingly, they issued him a job sheet against that, but refused to do the needful, stating that the IMEI No.354422060128442 was allotted to iPad Mini 3-16GB-Silver and the warranty against the handset had already been expired according to their records.
He said even persons at the service centre told him that ebay.com or the shipper of the product have sold a dismantled and assembled old mobile handset to the complainant and refused to intervene in the matter.
The notices by the forum were served on all four parties, including ebay.com, the shipper, the Apple India and the iQor Global Services limited. However, excluding Apple no other party appeared before the forum and was preceded against ex parte.
Apple India in its reply to the forum stated that the mobile phone had been illegally tampered and were sold by the opposite party 1 and 2 and therefore, they are responsible and answerable to the complainant and there was no deficiency and negligence on their part.
After verifying all facts, the forum in the judgment stated that the product purchased by the complainant virtually had true and correct IMEI number of the manufacturing firm, though it was issued to iPhone or to iPad Mini, it is the duty of the manufacturing firm to make it clear whether the IMEI number is printed on a right product or not and further, if any tampered and dismantled mobile phone has been sold by the dealer, the liability casted upon the manufacturing firm to take appropriate action against such fake dealers.
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